Get off the fence. The Minneapolis/ St. Paul housing market is strong and there may be no better time to move. Here’s why:

Less competition for homes

Less activity during this season diminishes the competition, and can also help you get a deal.

“Since fewer people overall are looking to buy houses, you will have less competition for your preferred house — and this gives you leverage,” said moneytips. “Holiday home sellers often have to adjust their price downward or make other concessions if they want to sell. Keep this in mind as you search for homes. Bargains may be available, and listed prices may be more open to negotiation.”

You’re Finally Above Water on that First-Time Home

So you purchased a home circa 2004-2007. If you were fortunate enough to stay in it, or had to, the value has rebounded. Median home prices in the Twin Cities area have now exceeded their peak in 2007. You may be looking at selling without a loss or even better, some equity to put into your next home.

New Leadership

President-elect Trump’s nominee for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) post has previously made a number of comments about the agency that appointee Dr. Ben Carson will make adjustments. It could spell wide-sweeping changes for buyers, and not for the better.

Privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would greatly limit available mortgages and have an especially detrimental effect on low-rate mortgages that many buyers depend on to get into the market.

Interest rates are on their way up

Even if you’re not ready to pull the trigger right this second, get pre-approved to lock in that interest rate now. That’s because rates have already risen some since the election, and all indications are that they’ll continue to rise after the new year.

Of course, getting pre-approved will allow you to move quickly when you find a home you love instead of being held up by the bank and risking losing the home when someone who is pre-approved swoops in.

Tax savings

Unless you find a house tomorrow and close much more quickly than is standard today, you won’t be able to reap the tax benefits this year. But there’s always next year—and every year after that. And tax savings can be substantial, amounting to thousands of dollars you’re not saving now.

It’s probably still cheaper than renting

The tax savings associated with homeownership isn’t the only way to save money. Average rent for a two-bedroom in Minneapolis is upwards of $1600. A mortgage on a $225,000 home is roughly $1125. Even with homeowners’ insurance and taxes, you may be less than rent. And you get an asset!

When calculating the difference between renting and owning, make sure you look at as much of an apples-to-apples comparison as possible. Oftentimes, when people are looking at rent, they fail to factor in renter’s insurance, security deposits, pet deposits, and annual rental increases. Those numbers can add up.

Predictable payments

Tired of that rent going up every year? Yeah, that stinks. Minneapolis/St. Paul is in the top-10 in rental rate growth.

Unless you have an adjustable rate mortgage, which isn’t popular in today’s low-interest-rate, 30-year-fixed mortgage world, or you cash out your equity and raise your principle at some point, your mortgage payment will remain your mortgage payment through the life of your loan. With so many other unknowns and intangibles, it’s nice to know that what’s probably your largest monthly payment is always the same.

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This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.